Saturday, October 08, 2005

A team for the ages.

Imagine a team that could create dreams, a team that could inspire, a team that could transcend generations - a team for all ages.
A collection of footballers who could light up any stadium at any time, and bring any crowd to their feet in awe and reverence. A football club as storied and rich in history and tradition as Manchester City is capable of producing such a team.
But not today we're not.
No, names such as Bell, Lee, Summerbee, Swift, Trautman, Paul, Tueart, Kinkladze are idolized by all City fans but what of those players who only stoke up emotion such as hatred, frustration and despair? Those players whose only legacy at City will be more akin to the Hall of Shame than Hall of Fame?
Well, courtesy of special guest contributor Simon Weilding is Bitter and Blue's 'Worst ever Manchester City XI' - a true team for the ages.

Simon Tracey - Played all of three games for us on loan back in 1994, but turned in such a desperate performance in the derby defeat that he beats out the likes of Siddall and Margetson for the goalkeepers spot. He will never be forgiven.

Laurent Charvet - A Kevin Keegan signing back in 2000 after playing in the Premiership at Newcastle and Chelsea. A full-back equally inept in the art of defending and in getting forward. Didn't manage one on-target cross throughout his career. And was bald.

Lee Crooks - Once memorably described as a 'cross between Duncan Edwards and Michel Platini', which is apt considering he played like Michel Edwards. The phrase 'couldn't pass water' could have been written specifically for him.
Bounced around the lower leagues since leaving City. Surely the lower leagues of Sunday pub football?

David Brightwell - A player with a lack of talent and footballing nous that made brother Ian appear a world beater. Slow, inelegant and with poor positional sense he still managed to make fifty-three appearances over a four year spell.

Michael Frontzek - Looked solid on his debut, but his performances thereafter ensured that twenty-five appearances later he remained famous only for conceding the 'penalty' in the Cup derby defeat at Old Trafford.

Jeff Whitley - A stalwart of the side, with his City career spanning six seasons and 141 games. Was ever present during the dark days of the club during the mid-late nineties. An astute Kevin Keegan quickly fired him off and was last season attempting a clever chipped penalty in the playoff semi finals for Sunderland - he missed of course.

Jamie Pollock - Words like 'combative' and 'whole-hearted' were often used to describe the 'stocky' midfielder. Two words succinctly sum up his City career - 'own' and 'goal'.

Ged Brannan - A Frank Clark signing who had the temerity to be part of a midfield along with the likes of Neil Heaney which led to a bemused Kinkladze shaking his head constantly during matches. Starred in Scotland after his move from City. Further evidence to never allow Scottish clubs into the Premier League.

Tony Grant - Lightweight, small both in stature and in talent. Twenty-five appearances over three seasons before being despatched to Burnley. Turned in one of the worst performances I have ever seen away at Bradford which deserves inclusion on that basis alone.

Lee Bradbury - Arrived with a big reputation and a big transfer fee, of which it's fair to say he never justified. The ultimate confidence player, who never displayed any and would still not have won the fans over to this day. Looking back at his stats I'm amazed he managed to score eleven goals.

Adie Mike - Two goals in nineteen games for the striker who who couldn't shoot. A special talent is required to beat out the likes of Conlon et al for a striking berth in this side but Adie's name must have been one of the first on the team sheet. Also played for Stockport.

Alan Ball - 'I won the World Cup you know' he was rumoured to have announced on his arrival. Add to that the hatred of the fans, a relegation and the lack of respect of players such as Curle, Quinn and Coton and he is the hands down choice to manage this select band of heroes.

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